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Winners of the Writing for Children Contest Are:

A big congratulation to all and a huge thank you to CANSCAIP & The Writers’ Union of Canada and the judges for encouraging new voices !

Interview with Illustrator of Island in the Salish Sea

I absolutely love the illustrations for my new book, Island in the Salish Sea. Check out the following interview with, illustrator, Leslie Redhead. For more of her fabulous art, be sure to visit her blog.

https://youtu.be/qQozKRAdk5E

2018 Canadian Children’s Book Awards

For more information, visit the Canadian Children’s Book Centre

TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award ($50,000)
Sponsored by TD Bank Group

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Dragonfly Song
Written by Wendy Orr (Red Hill, Australia)
Pajama Press
for ages 9-13
“Wendy Orr immerses readers in a Bronze-Age fantasy set on Crete, inspired by the legend of the Minotaur… Dragonfly Song is a beautifully told coming-of-age story… A combination of ancient history, mythology and fantasy elements thread through the lyrical narrative which is told in both prose and poetry… Aissa is a fully realized character whose struggles will thoroughly engage readers.”

Picture the Sky
Written and illustrated by Barbara Reid (Toronto, ON)
North Winds Press/Scholastic Canada
for ages 3-8
“Simple and profound, clever and layered… Picture the Sky is a visual journey through different perspectives of what it is to see the sky… The thought provoking, open-ended text encourages reflection and imagination… With masterful use of Plasticine, the sky is seen in all of its glory and splendour, rage and artifice, appealing to the hearts of all who have ever looked up in wonder… This is Reid at the top of her remarkable artistic form.”

Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation
Written by Monique Gray Smith (Victoria, BC)
Orca Book Publishers
for ages 9-13
Speaking Our Truth takes on the daunting task of synthesizing the history and evolution of the residential school system through the modern lens of reconciliation… Weaving personal experience and Canadian society’s struggle to come to terms with a sorrowful and the haunting past, Smith bravely negotiates this politically sensitive terrain… Written in frank and accessible language, this is a must-have book that will educate children and adults alike.”

Town is By the Sea
Written by Joanne Schwartz (Toronto, ON)
Illustrated by Sydney Smith (Toronto, ON)
Groundwood Books
for ages 5-9
Town is By the Sea is the deceptively simple tale of a day in the life of a boy growing up in a small mining town… The beautiful illustrations make tremendous use of light and shadow throughout, emphasizing the contrast between the dazzling beauty of the sea-side town on a bright, sunny day with the ominous darkness of the mine waiting below… The reader is asked to see the contrasts of freedom and restriction, childhood and adulthood, choice and fate as the main character embraces who he is and who he longs to become.”

When the Moon Comes
Written by Paul Harbridge (Toronto, ON)
Illustrated by Matt James (Toronto, ON)
Tundra Books
for ages 4-8
When the Moon Comes is an idyllic childhood moment frozen in time… The quiet, expressive text combined with the evocative illustrations draws the reader in to the story until you become one with the children, feeling the biting cold of the night air on your cheeks as you glide effortlessly over ice in the silver light of the moon… The illustrations evoke a strong feeling of nostalgia and community friendships and are a perfect complement the text.

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Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse ($50,000)
Sponsored by TD Bank Group
Pour ces informations en français, cliquez ici.

ABCMTL
Written by Jeanne Painchaud (Montreal, QC)
Photographs by Bruno Ricca (Montreal, QC)
Éditions Les 400 coups
for ages 7 and up
“Photos and poetry take us on an interesting journey through the streets of Montreal introducing us to the people, sights and flavours one might encounter… Poetic text and remarkable photographs make this a book for all ages…”

Bleu
Written and illustrated by Philippe Béha (Acton-Vale, QC)
Éditions de l’Isatis
for ages 4 and up
“Tender illustrations unquestionably recall the world of Chagall… Evocative and accessible poems invite the reader to dream and experience a range of emotions… This is the kind of picture book the make readers want to create!”

Le chemin de la montagne
Written and illustrated by Marianne Dubuc (Montreal, QC)
Comme des géants
for ages 4 and up
“A sweet allegory of intergenerational friendship and an ode to the happiness of simple things… Lulu’s perception of the world is transformed by her relationship with Madame Blaireau… and she learns to appreciate the beauties of the world… The tenderness of the subject is echoed in the illustrations.”

Gilles
Written and illustrated by Mathieu Lavoie (Montreal, QC)
Comme des géants
for ages 3 and up
“One cannot help but fall for this beautiful book… the illustrations are simple but full of movement and colour, and the text is rhythmic and humorous… A beautiful and flawless picture book!”

Pow Pow, t’es mort!
Written by Marie-Francine Hébert (Montreal, QC)
Illustrated by Jean-Luc Trudel (Montreal, QC)
Éditions Les 400 coups
for ages 7 and up
“Hébert tackles the subject of war in her portrayal of two contrasting protagonists — Manu and Unam, one who sees war as a game and the other who experiences it as a harsh reality… Sober and rhythmic writing combined with Trudel’s sparse and striking illustrations make this an eloquent picture book that raises the awareness of children facing war.”

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Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award ($20,000)
Sponsored by A. Charles Baillie

Little Blue Chair
Written by Cary Fagan (Toronto, ON)
Illustrated by Madeline Kloepper (Prince George, BC)
Tundra Books
for ages 3-7
“This circular tale takes readers on a whimsical journey from here to there and back again following the travels of an ordinary little chair… Charming illustrations in a soft palette offer just the right amount of detail to draw in children and give them plenty to explore with each re-reading… This gentle story is a testament to the creative power of the imagination…”

My Beautiful Birds
Written and illustrated by Suzanne Del Rizzo (Oakville, ON)
Pajama Press
for ages 6 and up
“Moving and meaningful… A timely and difficult story, sensitively told for young readers…Del Rizzo has captured a unique perspective of a child’s relationship with birds through her clay illustrations and simple, but honest, emotion in this story about life as a refugee child.”

Sam & Eva
Written and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi (Toronto, ON)
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
for ages 4-8
“This delightful picture book grabs readers’ attention from the get-go… The language is both simple and sophisticated… This clever and creative story about two friends and some disagreements gradually transitions from black and white to full colour illustrations which wonderfully represent the emotions being expressed.” 

Stolen Words
Written by Melanie Florence (Toronto, ON)
Illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard (Waterville, QC)
Second Story Press
for ages 6-9
“Grimard’s soft watercolour illustrations enhance Florence’s moving story about a grandfather’s loss of words in his first language… The sensitive child’s loving relationship with her grandfather helps him explain his past in residential school and overcome his reticence to speak Cree again… The use of Cree words in the story provides an enriching and emotional overtone to this beautiful book.”

When the Moon Comes
Written by Paul Harbridge (Toronto, ON)
Illustrated by Matt James (Toronto, ON)
Tundra Books
for ages 4-9
“This nostalgia filled adventure with friends will resonate with those who love the moon, nature and hockey… The friends’ anticipation and excitement for their nighttime excursion is palpable… James’ strong illustrations emphasize the beauty of winter, the wonder of a dark night, the power of the moon and the fun of an escapade with friends.”

You Hold Me Up
Written by Monique Gray Smith (Victoria, BC)
Illustrated by Danielle Daniel (Hanmer, ON)
Orca Book Publishers
for ages 3-7
“A seemingly simple picture book that conveys a valuable message for all ages… The distinctive and soft illustrations by Daniel enhance the positive message by Smith about the power of companionship, compassion, respect and togetherness… This quiet book has a deep beauty and a universal message.” 

JURY MEMBERS: Nancy Davidson, Founder, Kids’ Lit Quiz Canada; Janis Nostbakken, children’s media specialist; Itah Sadu, author, storyteller and owner, A Different Booklist.

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Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction ($10,000)
Sponsored by the Fleck Family Foundation

#NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women
Edited by Lisa Charleyboy (Winnipeg, MB) and Mary Beth Leatherdale (Toronto, ON)
Annick Press
for ages 14 and up
#NotYourPrincess invites the reader to dig deeper into their understanding of their ideas of Indigenous women in this collection of stories, poems and images… While some pieces look at the historical past, others look forward to a future of positive change… Heartbreaking and inspirational, the stories in this book will stay with readers long after reading it.”

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Meatless? A Fresh Look at What You Eat
Written by Sarah Elton (Toronto, ON)
Illustrated by Julie McLaughlin (Victoria, BC)
Owlkids Books
for ages 8-12
Meatless? explores the world of meat eaters and vegetarians… Elton presents eating meat and meatless lifestyle, providing a lot of food for thought for meat eaters, vegetarians, and those still wondering… The illustrations and layout, with headings and subheadings, make this a useful book for children learning about their food and looking more deeply at the consumption of meat.”

The Sockeye Mother
Written by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson) (Winnipeg, MB)
Illustrated by Natasha Donovan (Bellingham, WA)
HighWater Press
for ages 9 and up
“This eloquently written story about the Gitxsan and their relationship with the sockeye salmon is a story of life, nourishment and dependency… This beautiful picture book weaves story and culture throughout the seasons of the life of a salmon… A narrative that invites you to consider the delicateness of the environment and ecosystems, that are connected and an integral part of human life.”

Rewilding: Giving Nature a Second Chance
Written by Jane Drake (Toronto, ON) and Ann Love (King, ON)
Annick Press
for ages 9-12
“This book explores the environmental movement of rewilding and how environmentalists and scientists are helping nature by rewilding spaces for animals and plants around the world… Drake and Love bring the reader to a place of thinking deeply about our connections to the natural world and the choices that are made to ensure balance and benefits to humans and all living things.”

When Planet Earth Was New
Written by James Gladstone (Toronto, ON)
Illustrated by Katherine Diemert (Dundas, ON)
Owlkids Books
for ages 4-8
“With bursts of colour and bold images, Gladstone and Diemert transport readers to the beginning of Earth… Inviting the reader to use all their senses, the prose of this story provides facts about the planet… and the historical timeline and the research facts unfold in a story like no other… At the turn of each page you are drawn into the pictures and story with wonder and amazement.

***

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People ($5,000)
Sponsored by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Bilson Endowment Fund

The Agony of Bun O’Keefe
Written by Heather Smith (Waterloo, ON)
Penguin Teen Canada
for ages 12 and up
“This sad and beautiful book, rich with soul and heart, gives voice to marginalized characters and addresses weighty topics with sensitivity… I will not forget Bun O’Keefe. She holds a place in my heart as she does in the heart of Busker Boy and will do in the hearts of those who read her story… This is a book that may be a mirror or a window for readers, or a story that builds empathy for the many challenges faced by those not fitting societal expectations.”

The Assassin’s Curse
(The Blackthorn Key, Book 3)
Written by Kevin Sands (London, ON)
Aladdin
for ages 10-14
“An enduring and entertaining addition to a compelling historical series… The mystery adventure is plotted beautifully and leaves readers with questions, and constantly in search of answers to the mystery presented… Sands’ is a skilled and talented author whose writing style succeeds in engaging readers… Mystery, suspense, murder and codes is a recipe for an entertaining, engaging and intriguing read.” 

A Blinding Light
Written by Julie Lawson (Victoria, BC)
Nimbus Publishing
for ages 8-12
“A beautifully written book… Lawson gives a strong sense of historical perspective surrounding the Halifax explosion and how it impacted one family, the people around them, and the community itself…The alternating narration offers different perspectives on the tragic incident and its far-reaching effects … Though the story is location specific, its themes, such as family, love, survival and loss, are universal.”

Clutch
Written by Heather Camlot (Toronto, ON)
Red Deer Press
for ages 8-12
“Camlot does a superb job creating the Montreal setting following the Second World War, when abject poverty in the Jewish community was so immediate and tangible… Joey is conscientious, honest and a very loyal friend who is worthy of our respect and admiration although he is also flawed, persistent and not willing to follow advice from others… Family dynamics, a story of the Holocaust, and the mystery concerning Ben’s father keeps tension always present for readers.”

Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh
Written by Uma Krishnaswami (Victoria, BC)
Tu Books/Lee & Low
for ages 8-12
“This book holds appeal for many cross-sections of our country… Kids will discover that mixed-race families have existed for decades and generations and that these type of families are not a new phenomenon… Athletic kids will be drawn to the softball element of the story… This book shares a little-known chapter from history and offers a portrait of a multiracial family.

***

John Spray Mystery Award ($5,000)
Sponsored by John Spray

The Assassin’s Curse
(The Blackthorn Key, Book 3)
Written by Kevin Sands (London, ON)
Aladdin
for ages 10-14
“Sands’ writing is imaginative and suspenseful… Like a Renaissance Da Vinci Code for young readers, the latest instalment of The Blackthorn Key series takes readers on a thrilling adventure… There are codes to decipher, a curse to allay, a secret society at work, an ancient treasure to be uncovered and villains at every turn.”

Blood on the Beach
Written by Sarah N. Harvey (Victoria, BC) and Robin Stevenson (Victoria, BC)
Orca Book Publishers
for ages 12 and up
“A secluded setting with a motley group of strangers, at-risk teens and their adult counsellors, goes from misery to terror when one of the group goes missing and suspicions have everyone looking over their shoulders and trying to stay safe… Both the adult and young adult characters are relatable and there are some great plot twists including one final unexpected twist at the end.”

The Case of the Missing Mage
(Tank & Fizz, Book 3)
Written by Liam O’Donnell (Toronto, ON)
Illustrated by Mike Deas (Salt Spring Island, BC)
Orca Book Publishers
for ages 9-12
“A fun romp through worlds filled with goblins, trolls and elves, ingenious tech and magic, and a nefarious plot to kidnap leading wizards… The graphic novel-style of this series really adds to the storytelling — making the characters as much fun to watch as they are to read about… It’s a bubbling cauldron of graphic mystery and laughs… and a great introduction to the mystery genre for younger readers.”

The Hanging Girl
Written by Eileen Cook (Vancouver, BC)
Houghlin Mifflin Harcourt
for ages 12 and up
“When the most popular girl in school goes missing, the class psychic, Skye, conveniently starts to have visions about what might have happened to her… The Hanging Girl is a quick paced thriller with amazing plot twists from beginning to end… It was hard to decide who to root for and who to blame… A great page turner and psychological thriller.”

Recipe for Hate
Written by Warren Kinsella (Toronto, ON)
Dundurn
for ages 14 and up
“Welcome to the birth of Punk – when ‘misfits’ took to the streets to speak up for themselves and others like them, through art, music and clothes…. Recipe for Hate is an intense and sometimes uncomfortable read, especially knowing the story is based on real events… A great look into the history of music and what it means to be an outcast.”

***

Amy Mathers Teen Book Award ($5,000)
Sponsored by Sylvan Learning

The Agony of Bun O’Keefe
Written by Heather Smith (Waterloo, ON)
Penguin Teen Canada
for ages 12 and up
“A moving and heart-wrenching story about loneliness, innocence and the healing power of finding a family of one’s own… Themes of forgiveness, loyalty, love and healing are woven throughout the story, and combine with humour and unforgettable characters to make a book that will stay with readers long after the last page.”

Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined
Written by Danielle Younge-Ullman (Toronto, ON)
Razorbill Canada
for ages 14 and up
“An enthralling novel that packs an emotional punch, Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined is the story of one teenaged girl’s personal journey towards forgiveness and self-discovery… Younge-Ullman has crafted a beautiful and compelling story about a mother and daughter, grief and resilience.”

The Marrow Thieves
Written by Cherie Dimaline (Toronto, ON)
DCB
for ages 13 and up
“Dimaline’s novel is a story of survival, healing and finding a way to dream again…Themes of oppression, social justice and renewal run throughout this beautifully written novel and, throughout, Dimaline asks readers to consider the question of what makes us human.” 

Munro vs. the Coyote
Written by Darren Groth (Delta, BC)
Orca Book Publishers
for ages 12 and up
“Groth offers readers a thoughtful and ultimately uplifting story about grief and healing, as well as difference and acceptance… Groth skillfully illustrates the personal challenges each person faces in dealing with trauma and loss, and reminds readers that while the journey to healing isn’t ever easy or straightforward, time and refocused energy can lessen the pain.“

The Way Back Home
Written by Allan Stratton (Toronto, ON)
Scholastic Canada
for ages 12 and up
“At the heart of The Way Back Home is the special relationship between a teenaged girl and her beloved grandmother, a broken family, and the power of transformation… Humorous and clever dialogue and an oftentimes harrowing road trip make for a book that will be impossible to put down… Stratton’s novel shines a light on the importance of certain people in our lives.”

JURY MEMBERS: Penny Chaiko, teacher-librarian, Nantyr Shores Secondary School; Tracey Schindler, reviewer and former teacher; Rachel Seigel, freelance author and Adult Fiction Specialist, Library Services Centre.

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Prix Harry Black de l’album jeunesse ($5,000)
Sponsored by Mary Macchiusi
Pour ces informations en français, cliquez ici.

ABCMTL
Written by Jeanne Painchaud (Montreal, QC)
Photographs by Bruno Ricca (Montreal, QC)
Éditions Les 400 coups
for ages 7 and up
“In ABCMTL, Painchaud and photographer Ricca take a fresh and dynamic look at Montreal from a child’s perspective… In twenty-six letters, the reader will discover the charm and beauty of the city… Descriptive and poetic text juxtaposed with striking photographs present words that capture Montreal’s beauty.”

Le chemin de la montagne
Written and illustrated by Marianne Dubuc (Montreal, QC)
Comme des géants
for ages 4 and up
“A story of friendship, life’s lessons and perseverance… Beautifully told through narration and dialogue, Dubuc invites us into the heart of the protagonists’ thoughts… Her illustrations give us a splendid view of the setting and the beauty of the relationship between the characters… A work of great sensitivity!”

Je ne te vois plus
Written and illustrated by Paul Martin (Mont St-Hilaire, QC)
Éditions Les 400 coups
for ages 5 and up
“This minimalist text, accompanied by retro photographs with superimposed drawings, delicately addresses the topic of loss for young children… As the little girl notes the absence of her loved one she then remembers a happy moment they shared… A soothing conclusion emphasizes the roles of memories in order to keep those we love alive in our hearts.”

Mammouth Rock
Written by Eveline Payette (St-Lambert, QC)
Illustrated by Guillaume Perreault (Gatineau, QC)
Groupe d’édition la courte échelle
for ages 6 and up
“Louis, a passionate and well-informed presenter, captivates his class with his presentation about mammoth rock… A tribute to the lined three-holed notebook and inventiveness in all its forms, this little graphic novel will amuse young readers… Such fun!”

Riopelle, l’artiste magicien
Written by Marie Barguirdjian (Montreal, QC)
Éditions Edito
for ages 9 and up
“The tone is intimate and engaging… Barguirdjian plunges us into the captivating world of Jean-Paul Riopelle… Photographs, lyrics and Riopelle’s artistic creations are featured beautifully in this book… An extraordinary biography of an extraordinary artist!” 

Thanks Source Books

I didn’t know there was a National Author’s Day until this lovely card came yesterday from Source Books, who published I Love Kisses.

Orca Launch Nov. 7th

Please join Orca creators and check out our new books…including Island in the Salish Sea.

Join us Nov. 7

Please join Orca creators and check out our new books…including Island in the Salish Sea.

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